MiceAge Disney Rumor Update: Cars, Conventions and Cashholders

Written by MiceAge. Posted in Disneyland Resort, Features, MiceAge Update

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Published on July 09, 2013 at 4:00 am with 151 Comments

Summer is in full swing at the Disneyland Resort! The attendance numbers are still very healthy and continue to reflect the new reality that DCA now pulls in over 40% of the attendance between the two parks, instead of the traditional 25/75 split that had been in place until Cars Land opened last summer. In this update, we’ll fill you in on why that attendance split has Disney’s Board of Directors making a rare park visit, why very few of the attraction plans the Board approved will be announced at D23 Expo next month, and how Disney executives finally grew a backbone in order to combat embarrassing operational problems that had been festering for a decade.

So grab your cup of coffee stirred with Swiss Miss hot chocolate, put on your fuzzy bunny slippers, kick your heels up, and enjoy a mostly good news update from the Disneyland Resort.

A few weeks ago, Bob Iger and Tom Staggs spent the day in Anaheim. That’s not uncommon, especially in the last few years, as Disney’s Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter had been visiting almost monthly and kept insisting Staggs come down to Disneyland to inspect things with him. But on this particular visit, Bob Iger and Tom Staggs also hosted a rare meeting of the Board of Directors at a Disney theme park. The Board always assembles annually at the Shareholders Meeting, and occasionally throughout the year they will be summoned to the corporate offices in Burbank. But it is very rare for Bob to assemble them in Orange County at the Disneyland Resort.

All of Disney's favorite things in one shot: Fireworks, Confetti, Bob Iger , Tom Staggs, John Lasseter and a happy crowd of media and mommy bloggers.

The reason behind this rare show of corporate force was Bob Iger’s next big push for the Parks & Resorts Division of the company, and Bob needed to convince the Board to approve the increased spending he has planned for the parks. It was just over six years ago that a similar meeting took place, as Bob needed their votes to approve a 1.2 Billion dollar plan to fix and expand Disney California Adventure. Corporate governance rules require that an expenditure that large get full approval from the Board, and when the DCA Extreme Makeover was publicly announced in October 2007, it was a fix-it plan beyond anyone’s wildest imagination for that troubled park. Six years later, it is now quite obvious that not only did the DCA plan work, but, right out of the gate in 2012, it surpassed the most optimistic of projections for key analytics like annual attendance, per capita guest spending, and hotel room occupancy levels. The extremely strong performance of DCA, and thus the entire Anaheim resort property, was even achieved against strong financial headwinds from a rather weak economy, which makes the numbers even more impressive.

The Board of Directors visit was planned by Walt Disney Imagineering and Bob’s sharp pencil boys in advance, as the Board spent the morning in the Presidential Suite and private board room at the Grand Californian Hotel. There they received financial briefings and overviews of the Parks & Resorts division that made the case that the DCA makeover put the Anaheim property on a rocket ride to increased cash flow and very strong customer feedback scores that promise even more future growth. Top execs from Imagineering then gave the Board a creative overview of the DCA project, as some members of the Board weren’t members back in ’07 when the project was launched. WDI also rolled out several of their top concepts to expand the Anaheim property further, with the Monstropolis mini-land and E Ticket Door Coaster planned for the sleepy Hollywood Backlot area and a new Star Wars themed makeover for the messy Tomorrowland section of Disneyland. The Board also got overviews of WDI’s plans to attempt a more modest makeover of the Disney’s Hollywood Studios park in Florida, with a scaled down Cars Land section and some of the same Star Wars concepts planned for Tomorrowland.

Once the presentations were over, and the swanky luncheon had been cleared away, the Board set out for a very rare field trip into an actual working Disney theme park. Even though the Parks & Resorts division of the company has always been a consistent cash generator and far exceeds the profits from the Consumer Products or Broadcast TV divisions, let alone the bottomless money pit that is the trendy Disney Interactive division, the theme parks are very rarely visited by top executives. Parks Chairman Tom Staggs and Chief Creative Executive Bruce Vaughn led the group through DCA, stopping at the private 1901 Lounge on Buena Vista Street for beverages.

We call it a "Theme Park"

Once they finally got to Cars Land, a photo op was set up in front of the Cadillac Range to capture their special visit to a theme park, and then Bob Iger and the Board of Directors were whisked in through the exit of Radiator Springs Racers to a waiting car so they could experience the ride everyone is still talking about. The Board genuinely seemed to enjoy themselves that afternoon, which was Bob and Tom’s strategy. The plan Bob Iger and Tom Staggs have cooked up is to use the DCA makeover as a model for future park growth, but that will require a larger outlay of cash for the next few years and for that, the Board must approve the increased division expenditures. It’s hoped that this schmoozy visit to DCA last month generated some goodwill amongst the Board members, people who would ordinarily never visit a theme park, and that they will be supportive of Bob’s plan to turn on the money spigot for Disneyland, DCA, and DHS.

Mouseketeer in the middle


With so many headliner additions slated for the parks in the next few years, you would think that would make next month’s D23 Expo a home-run of exciting announcements and lavish Imagineering artwork of the upcoming rides. But it appears the exact opposite will be true, as WDI has been warned by Burbank to keep their cards very close to their vest at D23 Expo while Comcast pours money into several new rides at Universal Studios up the freeway in Hollywood. And until the Board officially approves the big expenditures for Fiscal Year 2014 through ’17, it doesn’t look like the beans can be spilled in time for D23 Expo.

A long, long time ago . . . .

That’s not to say that smaller scale projects can’t get underway sooner, particularly in Tomorrowland, as part of a strategic plan is to remake that aging section and restore its former glory. The plan now, using development funds under the 100 Million dollar mark already earmarked for Disneyland, is to go in and do “placemaking” and aesthetic improvements in Tomorrowland just prior to the 60th Anniversary in 2015. Captain EO is on the chopping block with that plan, which should come as no surprise to anyone. The long-rumored West Coast version of the Monsters Inc. Laugh Factory would take up residence in that 3-D theater, while the area around it gets an aesthetic re-skinning that will help it mesh better with the big-budget plan to bring more Star Wars presence to Tomorrowland. The E Ticket of the Tomorrowland remake uses the speeder bike coaster concept on the old PeopleMover route, originally Imagineered with a Tron theme but now using Star Wars as the storyline for the new ride.

Take the overpass, it's quicker

Also currently planned for the 60th is a new night parade from the capable hands of Steve Davison for Disneyland, and a new afternoon parade for DCA. The tentative parade plan has the MSEP staying in Walt Disney World until it is permanently retired (although when it left Anaheim in 2010, it was originally supposed to return to Anaheim in 2012), and the existing Pixar Play Parade at DCA would be shipped out to Florida if the TDO team wants it. And there is still the creative plan to dramatically re-Imagineer the existing five Fantasyland dark rides for Disneyland’s 60th that we told you about a few months ago.

I'm watching you, always watching

Meanwhile in DCA, the planning for Monstropolis has shifted into high gear this summer with Anaheim’s operations team. Mary Niven and Michael Colglazier would like to see the new mini-land and E Ticket Door Coaster open by the Fall of 2016, even as WDI rushes to fine tune the engineering and design of the new ride building and attached dining and retail. The Door Coaster concept would have riders strapped onto the sides of doors as they are sent through several large show scenes in addition to a thrill ride component through the cavernous door hangars. Building on the wild success of Radiator Springs Racers that brought back the art of animatronic dark ride storytelling paired with a family thrill ride, both WDI and TDA want the Door Coaster to wow audiences even if the riders aren’t huge Monsters Inc. fans. And it helps immensely that this is a Pixar property, as John Lasseter’s Pixar team that keeps a close eye on Cars Land will be intimately involved in the process for Monstropolis and the Door Coaster.

Gee 23

So while there are still plenty of things moving forward for the Anaheim parks short-term, plus even bigger plans for large-scale investment in the broader Parks & Resorts division, the financial timing and corporate politics don’t align well for any big D23 Expo announcements next month. And that’s not an easy pill for D23 to swallow, as fans will be expecting a big announcement, as in years past. Now that The Lone Ranger has flopped bigger than John Carter, there won’t be much buzz to generate from Disney’s movie studio at the Expo. Broadcast TV is struggling with audiences, and Disney’s more successful cable networks like ESPN have only a small presence at the Expo. And, since Disney’s Interactive division is still struggling to get traction as it loses tens of millions of dollars every quarter, Burbank refuses to go big with D23 Expo exhibits for that division. WDI has expanded their pavilion footprint this year, as their separately-gated exhibit is always a hit with Expo crowds. But without a major announcement about new E Tickets and splashy theme park expansion, D23 Expo may have a hard time generating fan interest from the 50,000 expected to attend. Unless things change in the next few weeks, due to The Lone Ranger casting a dark cloud over the summer, don’t expect anything unless Bob Iger changes his mind and allows at least one of the new projects for Disneyland, DCA or DHS to get announced.


While fans prepare to be either disappointed or surprised at D23 Expo in August, the management on both coasts are preparing to roll out a dramatic makeover to the existing Guest Assistance Card (GAC) program at all parks. The GAC, generally used as a front-of-the-line pass with few strings attached, got national exposure on The Today Show back in May. Today Show producers hired several unscrupulous Annual Passholders who rent out their GACs for cash in order to allow people to cut to the front of the line at unlimited rides each day, and then exposed the practice in a major undercover camera feature that had Today Show audiences gasping at their TV sets.

In an example of just how out of touch many of Disney’s theme park executives are, it was only when this Today Show expose aired that they would admit that they had a problem. Their own theme park teams in Guest Relations and Attractions have known this was a problem for years, and had been trying to tell the executives it was something that needed attention, but they were constantly told not to worry about it, mostly because no executive had the guts to attach their name to this hot-button issue. The problem is at its most severe in Anaheim, where over 100,000 Annual Passholders are now using the GAC process to board attractions each year, in addition to smaller numbers of hotel guests or casual visitors who aren’t Passholders. On the average busy day, Disneyland Resort’s Guest Relations teams in City Hall, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Guest Services windows in the Esplanade, are now issuing between 1,200 and 1,400 GAC passes per day. And until recently, those GAC passes could be post-dated for 60 days at a time, in an attempt to cut down on the number of people applying for GAC passes each day. But that practice exponentially increased the numbers of pre-issued GAC passes that would arrive on days with high Annual Passholder visitation.

GACety GAC, don't talk back

That means that on the average busy Sunday, when AP visitation swells, there are upwards of 3,000 GAC passes being used between the two parks, most of them stamped for a total of 6 people allowed per pass. The Cast Members at Guest Relations can track those numbers easily, and the Cast Members who staff the GAC check-in podium at Radiator Springs Racers marvel at how up to 4,000 people per day will access Racers via a GAC pass instead of using a Fastpass or waiting in the Standby or Single Rider lines. When a popular ride like Racers, which can only accommodate 20,000 people per 15 hour day under the most optimal of conditions without any major downtimes, has 20% of its riders coming through using a Guest Assistance Card, you know there’s a problem.

Once a small but sensational slice of the larger GAC abuse issue was exposed on The Today Show, the alarm bells rang in executive suites in Anaheim and Orlando and the top suits were embarrassed enough to finally do something about it. And in a 180 degree turnabout after ignoring years of complaints from their operations teams, several key executives are now rushing to jump on the bandwagon and attach their names in support of this suddenly trendy topic. The managers in the parks can only roll their eyes and think “Now you’ll listen to us? What took you so long?” The result is that top managers from Anaheim were quickly flown out to Orlando for a week-long summit with dozens of Orlando managers on how to end the current GAC program and rebuild a new process in its place.

Guest Relations Cast Members on both coasts have heard rumblings on the more restrictive plan, still being hashed out via bi-coastal video conferences, and they are preparing to don their suits of armor for the inevitable yelling that will occur at Guest Relations in all six American theme parks when the GAC gravy train comes to an end. The first step in the process already began last month, as Guest Relations no longer post-dates a GAC for two months at a time in order to flush the system of old cards prior to the new program rolling out. The current policy only allows a GAC to be dated for two weeks at a time. However, when the rollout for the new program approaches in August, Guest Relations will stop dating them for two weeks and only issue GAC passes one day at a time in an attempt to flush out the last of the old cards. The new system can then begin without any old valid GAC passes still in circulation, and that date is tentatively slated to happen in August.

The new process for accommodating those with legitimate disabilities that prevent them from waiting in a line is still having the details ironed out, as we hear more about how it might work we’ll fill you in. What’s important to know now is that the current GAC process is coming to an end, and very soon. The Today Show kicked off the panic, but perhaps this could be a lesson for the executives in TDO and TDA that their front line staff knows what is working and what is not. It would be nice if an executive or two would be willing to stick their neck out just a bit to help their own teams provide the best service possible to the broadest range of paying guests possible. It’s a shame the problem was ignored for so long that a hidden camera expose had to end up on The Today Show, instead of simply fixing the problem years and years ago like the front-line teams had been requesting.


Life’s full of tough choices, innit? Speaking of which, the latest MiceChat Podcast features a gutsy interview with Ursula the Sea Witch, Pat Carroll herself, and a surprise appearance by legendary Imagineer, Bob Gurr. You won’t want to miss what happens when these two 80+ year olds get together and take over the show. Plus more theme park news and gossip. It’s a real hoot and a must listen.

Direct Link | MiceChat Podcast RSS FeediTunes Link

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and share with your family and friends. We are looking forward to hearing your comments. Is Laugh Floor a good replacement for the Captain or is it too much Monsters with a whole mini-land on its way to DCA? Do you have ideas on how best to change the GAC program? Attending the D23 Expo this August? We await your always interesting observations!

 Special thanks to Fishbulb and Andy Castro for their photos

About MiceAge

The MiceAge crew was started by Al Lutz in 2003, and is committed to bringing you the inside Disney story that you just can't get anywhere else. As much as we'd all like to see more frequent rumor updates on the site, we only publish when reliable news and rumors are available to share. The MiceAge news Editor can be reached at: [email protected]

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  • MikeK

    “That’s not to say that smaller scale projects can’t get underway sooner” means The Star Wars Speeder Bike, Monters Laugh factory and Tomorrowland refresh as well as the Monsters Door coaster and Monstropolus area don’t need approval from the board of directors . Also, it looks like Tomorrowland will be ready before the 60th.

    This proposed funding approval from the board sounds like it’s for something much bigger…

    • lightofdarkness

      Agreed… Marvel-ous third gate?

      • MikeK

        Hope so. I think a Marvel/Star Wars park would be appropriate.

    • sean317

      Possibly a water slide park. I also agree w/ maybe a Marvel themed park.

  • jchamb268

    For the speeder bike ride wouldn’t they have to completely rebuild the PM tracks?

    • a-mad

      We’ve gone from the pods from The Incredibles to the light cycles from Tron (rumored just a few weeks ago), and now to the Star Wars speeder bikes. I’m all for any of them… and excited for any kind of activity on the PM tracks – but this project feels like its constantly changing. I’ll exhale as soon as I see them actually working on it and/or have announced something officially.

      • Monoautorail

        And don’t forget about the screaming and yelling when long-ago-futuristic speed vehicles can be seen from the hub! Let us not forget the din that followed the decision to put Fantasyland-type structures adjacent to Fantasyland and Sleeping Beauty Castle, but visible from the hub!

    • Happiestcruiser

      Yes, they would have to almost totally rebuild the tracks — adding exit ramps, safety bars, etc. Touching any of the track for a refurb/redesign would trigger the CA safety laws that would make them bring the entire thing up to “modern” safety standards. (which are just ludicrous in my opinion).

  • Big D

    Good luck to the Disney execs trying to fix the GAC program. No matter what solution they come up with it seems like some people are going to be hurt by it. My mom is disabled, and we have noticed that when we take her around to almost anywhere, finding a handicapped parking space is impossible because it seems like everyone has a handicapped placard now, so even if Disney required that people show a handicapped placard I don’t know that it would help that much. And it wouldn’t do anything to alleviate the problem of people renting a disabled person to go with them, because the person is legitimately disabled, and there would be no way for the person at City Hall to know that the person was charging the family to go with them using the pass. You could try to require one person in the party to wait in line and then let everyone on when they get to the front of the line I guess, but then you end up with a huge backup of people in wheelchairs waiting at the exit of the ride, and sometimes even blocking the exit which was never designed to have people waiting there. This is really a no-win scenario for Disney.

    The other question I have though is that given the restrictions on any thrill ride, how many legitimately disabled people can even go on rides like RSR or Space Mountain? Someone with a mental disability like autism who can handle a ride but can’t handle standing in line is one thing, and I get that, but wouldn’t almost any physical disability other then a broken limb prevent most people from going on a significant number of the rides at Disney? I know for my mom, who has a bad back, among other things, she really only likes to go on maybe 4 or 5 rides whenever she goes to the park. Are there a lot of disabilities that still allow you to go on most of the rides at Disney? I’m honestly asking here, I don’t think there would be but I truthfully don’t know.

    • bsegel

      I actually think that requiring a handicapped placard would go a long way to cutting down on the GAC abuse at the parks.

      But I really wanted to address your second question. It’s a great question and as a father of a child with Cerebral Palsy I appreciate the question. The reality is that most people with physical disabilities can safely ride any of the attractions at the parks. The reason they can is because a lot of physical disabilities have to do with miscommunications between the brain and the muscles. My daughters muscles and bone structure area all fine, just like yours and mine. The problem is that her brain doesn’t do a good job communicating to the right side of her body, so using her right leg, right arm and hand etc… is a lot harder. In her case they do work, just not as well. The right side of her body is numb, like that feeling we get when we sleep on our arm wrong and it falls asleep. She’s like that all the time. She needs a little help getting in and out of some rides but once she is sitting in the seat there is no problem, she can ride anything.

  • CasaFamilia

    Thanks again for another tremendous update. As I have stated in many posts we are a family that uses(not abuses) the GAC. We really do wish we didn’t have to use it-we would gladly exchange having to wait in the stand-by lines if our twins were typical. We didn’t ask or cause their condition, we just simply want them to have the ability to enjoy Disneyland like the rest of us and the GAC allows that. We have twin six-year old daughters both on the Autism spectrum. The GAC has allowed them to fully enjoy the parks and we feel that the parks have been a great help to their overall development. Becasue we are so close most weeks we are able to visit the resort twice, usually alternating parks.(We know we are very blessed) Most of the time the girls use the GAC but sometimes they choose the regular line because it is more interesting to them. However the alternate lines help because they become too overstimulated in the regular lines, the noise and being confined. This leads to them spinning, grabbing and pulling on each other and Mom and Dad and even seeking input through head-butting themselves or objects-thus they become a safety hazzard to themselves or others. We feel we have done a good job of helping them self-regulate but sometimes it’s just too much. We knew the changes to GAC were coming and will be welcomed by those of us that really need the program but hopefully the changes are not too dramatic. It is frustrating beyond words to be in contact with people that are abusing the system so hopefully they can cut down on that number. One of the biggest problems we see is the number of guests allowed on each card, it was supposed to be six but many times we have seen groups larger than 6. It was so nice to be able to get one card for two-months and not have to go to city hall every visit but if we have to deal with this minor inconvenience and it helps to curb abuse we will go every time. Hopefully it’s not too hard to explain why we would like the card because the girls don’t look “handicaped”. Bottom line for us, the change was necessary because of some vile, morally bankrupt people; hopefully the changes don’t dimish the “magic” too much and the twins can still enjoy their “Disnweyland”. No matter what the outcome our lives have taught us to adapt and enjoy any amount of joy and happiness a trip to the resort may bring to our beautiful twins.

    • yellowrocket

      The fair alternative to this (and what other parks have started doing in the wake of the New York post story) is to have one member of the party wait in line while the others either wait with a pass or wait in the child swap area.

      • MrsRobinson

        YellowRocket-yes this is a fair alternative but some rides can’t do this because there is nowhere for the guest to wait for their party..I work on Buzz and Star Tours, buzz has no where for the guest with the GAC to wait for their party. We don’t send people through the exit because everyone has to hear the saftey spiel when they go through the regula/alternate entrance. With Star Tours we do offer the guest to sit out on the bench in front of the line while the rest of their party goes through the regular line and is able to meet up with them when they get to the greeter point and from that point they can go through one of the alternate entrances (depending on the GAC)

    • Herc

      I completely agree with you. The GAC needs to be enforced, but it is a delicately line to follow. My nephew has Aspergers Syndrome has “sometimes” has problems in the long lines or in crowds. Waiting for the fireworks is hell on wheels, but once the music and show starts, he’s fine. But trying to wait for such a long time in DL will probably affect our viewing habits (may need to go by Small World mall). We’ve waited in WDW for over an hour for Toy Story Mania, but the good thing is that there are so many toys and games to talk about while going through the line. Sometimes it works and other times it doesn’t.
      Hopefully with our upcoming trip to DL, we can try the GAC for “certain” attractions and not abuse it. We’re still trying to figure out the six hour flight both ways.

      • bayouguy

        Casafamilia said it best. I just don’t want Disney to steamroll over the program due to action of others. I’ve witnessed this too many times in my career. It would be nice if they asked families for help.

  • Tinkbelle

    No, no, no! All the Monsters stuff is such a bad idea – both in DCA and Tomorrowland. Awful! The current Monsters ride barely has a line. They need to come up with some truly exciting concepts for Hollywoodland and Tomorrowland. Step away from the Monsters theme, Disney.

    • WDWorldly

      Best solution is to upgrade the neglected Monsters, Inc. dark ride with Tokyo’s “ride and go seek” technology as part of the Monstropolis project

  • eicarr

    Why no mention of Disney’s most popular draw…. Marvel. At D23 talk of the new ABC Marvel series, or the movies….. And why no DL park attractions for its most popular brand at the moment? Would iron man or a PIXAR Billy Crystal charictor get more dads, teens and boys to book an expensive DL trips?

    • yellowrocket

      Marvel will be at D23, but this article needed to sensationalize the negative aspects of the event (which, granted, are many). There was no mention of the uber successful avenues of the company present at the expo like Marvel or Disney Channel.

  • Jeff Heimbuch

    Why is no else but me lamenting the loss of Captain EO?

    I mean, Disney thinks they are a bunch of losers, but they are gonna do it right this time, because they’re the best!

    • frollofan


  • ttintagel

    Anyone who thinks the GAC is “generally used as a front-of-the-line pass with few strings attached” has obviously never used one. It does work out that way sometimes, especially on older, pre-ADA constructed attractions, but it’s a side effect and not the primary function.

    • Westsider

      Because you can use your GAC over and over at any ride you want, without limits. Want to go on Soarin? Show your GAC and breeze into Fastpass. Now Tower of Terror? No need to wait, just walk over and show your GAC and head right in. Screamin’, Indy, Splash, Peter Pan, Grizzly, etc., etc. With a GAC there’s no need to plan your day around 2 hour wait times or juggle Fastpass return times five hours in advance with dinner reservations or show times.

      There are no time limits on how many times you can use your GAC and enter Fastpass or go in through the exit. Only at Racers are they issuing return times based on the existing Standby wait. If they started doing that at all the rides, making people wait the current Standby time, the benefits of the GAC would disappear and it would truly level the playing field and give everyone an equal experience. Not better access, just equal access, and fair while still being sensitive to people who can’t wait in a physical line for whatever reason.

      • ttintagel

        Well, it doesn’t work like that on every ride. Far from it. But even if it did, then why not just build the regular queues to be accessible? Almost all of the reqular queues at WDW are mainstreamed.

      • ttintagel

        And most of how a GAC is handled at most rides depends on what conditions are at the moment you arrive – you aren;t guaranteed that it willwork the same way if you go to the same ride twice iin the same day.

      • The First Star

        My mom is disabled, and I can tell you that the disabled queue works differently. At some rides, like Haunted Mansion or Peter Pan, each party with disabled person with a wheelchair, walker, or ECV can only go one at a time. In other words, each individual party has to cycle through the ride before the next party is accommodated. This means that the wait in a disabled line can be even longer than the regular line.

        As for Space Mountain, the disabled car can only be loaded every 7 minutes, so just look at the line and count every 16 people and multiply that by 7. You’ll find that often times, the disabled line is just as long or longer than the regular queue.

        Let me give you another example. Last year, we waited over an hour and a half for HMH, when the regular line was only 30-45 minutes long. Not only did each disabled person have to cycle through the ride, they had to be escorted back through the queue and up the elevator. It was a nightmare. Once we made it through to the load area, we had to wait several minutes while at least three different elevators worth of people were loaded. We waited while each elevator load had completely boarded, and we watched while empty buggies passed through.

        Sometimes you can walk on in, and sometimes you can’t.

        The best system, and the one I prefer, is the one used for Racers and previously described by DustySage.

  • Disneykin Kid

    It takes visionaries to be able to see the wisdom of creatively expanding the parks, sadly most financial people are not visionaries. Well I guess you have to have balance, like Walt and Roy.

    I welcome more Star Wars in Tomorrowland, although I think the Peoplemover track should be used for Tron lightcycles. People have expressed desire for a full Star Wars park, but upon thinking about it, I think the best theme park experience is a combination of themes, not just one theme. Disneyland has many different lands, if you feel adventurous you ride Indy, if you feel nostalgic, you ride the Mark Twain, if you want to remember your Disney childhood you go to Fantasyland. A new separate theme park should also have a combination of themes, not just Star Wars, or even Star Wars/Marvel. It needs a combination for the whole family.

  • Herc

    Please don’t bring the Laugh Floor to Tomorrowland in DL. It’s bad enough to have it in Florida where it really doesn’t fit thematically.
    I know things are probably decided, but I would think another Star Wars attractions and possible eatery would be good instead of turning TL into Star Wars Land. The Peoplemover should still be Tron based. We need a Tron attraction. Just my opinion. And what about that Iron Man attraction for the Innoventions area (no not talking about the exhibit of Iron Man).
    If it were possible, I would take Pixar completely out of DL and base it more in DCA.
    Same in Florida, DHS should be the Pixar-centric park.
    Yes, I’m an eastcoaster and travel to WDW annually or more. Last year we traveled in July/August to see Carsland and have my kids experience Walt’s original theme park (they loved it) and then in February we did a week in WDW (we all said it was our worst Disney trip ever). New Fantasyland ok, Circus area meh, but loved Be Our Guest Restaurant). Loved California enough for us to book another trip that takes place in 17 days.

  • Saskiwi

    Great update- you guys always have the good oil!
    Any chance you could post a link to the post about a revamp of the Fantasyland dark rides for DL’s 60th? Must have missed that one…
    All for a Monstropolis in DCA- have been waiting for a Door ride ever since we saw first saw the original movie many years ago..it just lends itself to a great ride!
    not so sure about Laugh Floor in Tomorrowland…the connection being…???
    We just visited WDW and while our kids enjoyed. The Laugh Floor, it certainly wasn’t a must-do and I can’t see all those DL AP holders going back timeand again…
    But yay for a Star Wars theme revamp to Tomorrowland…it is in dire need of something cohesive to pull that land together, and the rich detail that is in SW will give WDI so much material to work with…
    Time to start saving for our next trip!

    • Here’s what we wrote last time:

      . . . the plan to fix Alice that had been debated in both TDA and at WDI for the past several years brought attention to all of Fantasyland’s five classic dark rides. While they were all rebuilt for the New Fantasyland in 1983, and have received several nice technology upgrades over the last decade, they are still showing their age. The likely proposal now has Disneyland closing each dark ride for several months throughout 2014 and early ’15, starting with Alice, while installing upgraded animatronics, lighting and audio, plus all-new digital special effects. The result would be the classic Disney dark ride reborn for the 21st century, marketed to celebrate Disneyland’s 60th.

      Only Disneyland has the entire library of classic Walt-era dark rides, with eight dark rides total in both DCA and Disneyland, five of them packed in together in central Fantasyland. The rest of Disney’s magic kingdoms around the world only have one or two classic dark rides left, and the Orlando versions in particular are not in good shape cosmetically. Anaheim has taken loving care of their Fantasyland dark rides, especially with the small tech upgrades of recent years, but both WDI and TDA feel that they are looking quite dated to modern audiences and are coasting on fumes of nostalgia.


  • Gibson510

    Monsters Inc!? In Tomorrowland!? And now Star Wars… the beginning of the movie starts by saying “A long time ago….”.

    I wish that some of Disney’s creative minds could sit down, brainstorm and really do some research into what is on the horizon for our country, our civilization, our planet. Ask questions like what sorts of new technologies will we be benefitting from in the next 20, 50 or 100 years? What might life be like? And once they have some solid ideas, they could work toward creating original and educational experiences that guests can enjoy and immerse themselves in like E ticket rides, exhibits, shows or what have you.

    Space travel is always a good topic. And not Star Wars themed space travel! I love the movie but lets not plaster it all around every time we get get the chance. Speaking of space travel, maybe they could start by rethinking the sorry excuse for rocket jets that is currently in place.

    Just thinking out loud….

    • jcruise86

      Good post, Gibson510. At the Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana they used Star Wars as a starting point to successfully work in real science in an impressive exhibit. Yes, real space travel and it’s potential is interesting. Exactly where are we in our galaxy? What’s the latest in possible Earth-like planets being discovered? How can we travel through space faster? The excellent JPL open-house addressed things like this, but it was cancelled this summer due to federal budget cuts.

      We consider if travel will be fun, educational, a celebration of nature or good exercise. One of these is enough, but two is better. Without EPCOT, it would be harder to justify crossing the country to Disney World.

      • Gibson510

        Yes! Things like that would be wonderful. Astronomy and space exploration are fascinating topics and with a little Disney magic it could bring some great additions to the park.

        I guess I just like the idea of an original, unique creation like some of the retired Tomorrowland attractions were, rather than just pulling existing attractions from other parks and calling it a day.

      • danielz6

        I agree this is the best way to save the tommorowland theme even if the attraction doesn’t specifically fit. Star wars/ space mountain should be joined by a cosmology /astronomy pavillion. THATS what should replace EO not monsters garbage. A Tron attraction should be connected to a computer science pavillion. Heck even iron man can be connected to a military future tech showcase. Subs can showcase a Deep Sea/ oceanography exploration exhibit which is one of the bigges frontiers in science today. That idea just works so well. The attraction can stay and the pavillions can be constantly updated as technologies change and advance! Are you listening Disney?

    • MikeK

      Agreed. Tomorrowland should be about the future…not “a long time ago in a galaxy….

      • jcruise86

        Literal much? :)
        Star Wars might not be in the future,
        but to my primitive little mind it’s futurISTIC.

        Harrison Bergeron take place in the future, but everyone acts like it’s the 1950s. So I guess that could be in Tomorrowland if you require something to be in the future. As could the cowboy animatronics of “West World.”

    • sean317

      Star Wars is “sci-fi/fantasy”. Maybe in our world, Star Wars will be what happens “tomorrow”.

  • TodAZ1

    Couple of things…………..

    1. Monsters Inc Laught Floor in Disneyland’s Tomorrowland…………stop it, Disney! You’re drunk! Go home!

    2. I don’t care what anyone says, Bob Iger is HOT!!!! :)

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  • JCSkipr79

    Glad that WDI is going to waste it’s time on Monsters attractions that NOONE will care about cause Potter will wipe them off the map. MILF will have you BEGGING Eo to come back to TL. It’s that bad. The only thing I have hope for is WDI-DL is more tasteful so I doubt we’ll see a looming Mike neon day glo sign next to Space. And how exactly will a Speeder Bike work in TL?? Yea it’s themed TO SW but the Bike will still be going through TL so it won’t even make sense. At least something will be on the PPLMover track again. And Iger in a cardigan??? WHO IS HE FOOLING! He is NO Walt. PERIOD.